After increasing the incoming attachment limit to 50MB on Gmail, the email client has now introduced a nifty ability to stream video attachments instead of downloading them. This will let you understand what the video is about before deciding on a download, a rather useful feature to save up on the cramped storage space on PCs and laptops. This feature is only available to desktop users for now, and will be rolled out incrementally in the coming weeks.
The a Gmail video attachment will show up as a small thumbnail with an image from one of the frames of the video file. Double clicking on it will open up a YouTube-style player that'll stream the video at optimal quality, and even allow you to adjust speeds, playback, and alter sound levels. You can even stream this video to a Chromecast device if you wish.
"Previously, in order to view a video attachment in Gmail, you would have to download it to your computer and open it with a media player. Starting today, when opening an email with video attachments, you will see a thumbnail of the video and have the ability to stream it, right from inside Gmail," the company notes on its blog.
Of course, the incoming video size is limited to 50MB so expect only smartphone footage to be streamed and not a high quality video as such. For higher resolution video, you can always use Google Drive which already supports streaming. Google notes that Gmail uses the same infrastructure as YouTube, Google Drive and others for video streaming.